Earthquake Brace+Bolt

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Getting Started

First 12-weeks

Once you have registered and been accepted into EBB you have twelve weeks to hire a contractor from the Contractor Directory or decide do the work yourself as an owner-builder, and get a building permit. EBB does not require a homeowner to use a contractor or recommend any specific contractor to complete the retrofit work.

If you hire a contractor to do the retrofit work, you must choose from the Contractor DirectoryContractors on Directory are FEMA trained and are California licensed general contractors with a license type A or B. The Directory provides a resource to search for licensed contractors who are educated in seismic retrofitting in your area. Once you choose a contractor from the Directory you may authorize them to upload required documents on your behalf. You can do this from your online Homeowner Dashboard.

If you choose to use a contractor, the CSLB website has information on consumer resources including how to select a licensed and qualified contractorchecking a contractor licensenegotiating contracts for work to be done, preventing and resolving disputes, and how to obtain a building permit.

If you choose to do the work yourself, you will identify yourself as an owner-builder. Here are resources to help owner-builders understand allowable expenses and track owner-builder receipts:

As an owner-builder, you become the general contractor for your project and assume complete responsibility for the overall job, including state and federal taxes, workers' compensation insurance and other legal liabilities. You will be installing bolts into the foundation and plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) bracing along the stud wall (cripple wall) of your crawl space. DIYers are encouraged to view the education videos, which details the steps for installation of retrofit components.



Pre-Retrofit Phase (12 weeks)

  • Familiarize yourself with retrofit work that qualifies.
  • Call licensed contractors listed on the Directory and schedule appointments
  • Meet with contractors and receive bids
  • Review/compare all bids, select a contractor
  • Contractors, in most cases, will get a building permit for you
  • For the CRMP-funded EBB program, upload 3 photographs of the front of your house
  • For the FEMA-funded EBB program, upload photographs (with a date stamp on all 5) of the exterior of your house(see examples here)
  • For the FEMA-funded EBB program, obtain Plans/Scope of work for the project
  • Upload 3 photographs of the crawl space and cripple wall, if applicable, before the retrofit
  • Upload permit information, the building permit must be received and dated after acceptance into EBB Program.
  • Upload proof of residency to your Dashboard
  • For the CRMP-funded EBB program, upload a completed W-9 form to your Dashboard

 [IMPORTANT NOTE: Your building permit MUST reference "in accordance with..." an accepted Standard Plan Set (i.e. Standard Plan Set A or LA City Standard Plan Set #1) or "Chapter A3." If your house has cripple walls greater than 4-feet then you will need an engineered solution. In most cases, contractors will go to the building department and get a permit for you.



Retrofit and Post-Retrofit Phase

  • After receiving approval from EBB, initiate and complete the work within six (6) months from the day EBB told you your pre-retrofit documents and photos were approved and to start your retrofit. If retrofit work begins before pre-retrofit documents and photos are approved, the homeowner will not be eligible for the EBB grant.
  • Collect and submit the required documentation and upload it to your Homeowner Dashboard:
    • receipts for building permit fee
    • receipts for materials and supplies (if owner-builder)
    • contractor invoice broken out by labor, materials, overhead and profit
    • 2 photos of code-compliant strapped water heater
    • 1 photo of the crawl space access showing scale using ruler, yard stick, etc.
    • 3 photos of the crawl space after the retrofit work is completed
    • signed building permit after the work is completed
    • For the FEMA-funded EBB program, upload 5 photographs (with a date stamp on all 5) taken after the retrofit is complete of the exterior of your house.  (see examples here)
    • Payment Authorization Form

      [IMPORTANT NOTE: Your building permit MUST reference "in accordance with..." an accepted Standard Plan Set (i.e. Standard Plan Set A or LA City Standard Plan Set #1). or "Chapter A3."]


  CRMP-funded EBB Step by Step Retrofit Information                                  FEMA-funded EBB Step by Step Retrofit Information                                  Permit / Building Department Information                                              Owner Builder Receipts Verification Instructions                                    Owner builder Receipts Verification worksheet                                      FEMA-funded EBB Photo Samples

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